“We live a golden life,” said Megargee, 58, who runs a promotions company from her home. “Among the people we deal with in our daily lives — our families, at work and in our neighborhood — we are treated just like anyone else in modern-day America. We are very open about who we are, and we have no issues or concerns whatsoever.”
Tony Curtis and his partner, Dan Dycus, have lived for eight years in Accokeek in Prince George’s County, where black church leaders fought vigorously against a statewide same-sex marriage bill that was defeated. According to the census data, Curtis and Dycus are among almost 2,500 same-sex couples in Prince George’s County — almost as many as the larger Montgomery County.
Almost all of the residents in the development where they live on a cul de sac are African American, and Dycus, who is white, became president of the homeowners association a few years ago.
“Everyone has been so nice to us,” said Curtis, 47, who heads a company in the commercial real estate industry. “I’m not sure if it reflects how they feel about us. But we’ve never had a problem with any of our neighbors.”
District figures will be released next week.
Sociologists think that most gay couples decide where to live depending on factors that have nothing to do with laws and politics.
“We’re not any different than a straight couple,” said Cary Jagur, president of the Alexandria Gay and Lesbian Community Association. “We live where we can afford, where it’s reasonable to work, where there are good schools if you have children and where it’s close to shopping amenities. All the things our parents looked for.”
But Alison Page and her partner, Leanne Wells, left Virginia when they moved from Centreville to Laurel in 2004 after they decided to have children. Paige gave birth to twins in 2006, and Wells adopted them.
“We knew we wanted to have children, so we moved before we started the process,” said Page, 37. “The state of Virginia would not allow second-parent adoptions for same-sex couples. Maryland gave us the legal protection we needed. We’ll probably move within five years, and probably within Maryland.”
Maryland’s census numbers were seized on by both opponents and supporters of same-sex marriage, who are planning another push in next year’s legislative session, this time with assistance from Gov. Martin O’Malley (D).
Del. Michael J. Hough (R-Frederick) said the numbers reinforce one of the arguments he and other opponents of same-sex marriage have been making.
“We’re talking about radically redefining marriage for what is a very, very small subset,” he said.
State Sen. Richard S. Madaleno Jr. (D-Montgomery), an openly gay man raising two children with his partner, said the statistics show how many people might choose to marry if it becomes legal.
“It demonstrates that there are a significant number of same-gender families in our state, and we are everywhere in the state,” he said. “It also shows that in the end, we’re not talking about a lot of people. The other side’s predictions of doom and gloom are oversized.”
Del. Heather R. Mizeur (D-Montgomery), a gay lawmaker who has a wife, said the census numbers show the changing face of what is now considered family.
“There are 9,000 Maryland children that have two moms or two dads, that are looking to the General Assembly and saying, ‘Protect my family, like everyone else’s,’ ” she said.
Staff Writer John Wagner contributed to this report.